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Consultation Meeting with Ministry of Economy and Finance on the New Fiscal Package proposals

June 20, 2018
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On June 2018 the Ministry of Economy and Finance had started a presentation and consultation process of the New Fiscal Package 2019 part of which will be applicable from this year. In this ambit, FIAA was asked for a discussion round table with the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Economy and Finance Mrs. Albana Shkurta. FIAA representatives present in the discussion among others, proposed legal amendments respectively for the Draft Laws on Income Tax, VAT on Agri-tourism and Local Taxes. FIAA proposals were officially sent to the Ministry and will be active during the second part of the year for the consultation of other laws and relevant amendments which should be in focus of the coming Fiscal Package.

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INVESTMENT COUNCIL – FOR A SIMPLIFIED LEGAL FRAMEWORK ‘ON INVESTMENTS’

June 19, 2018
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Tirana, June 2018. Investment Council (IC) held a special meeting chaired by the Minister of Finance and Economy, Mr. Arben Ahmetaj, and with the participation of EBRD Vice President, Mr Alain Pilloux. In this meeting FIAA was represented by the Deputy Chair Mr. Turker Sengonul. The agenda focus was the ‘Legal Framework on Investments in Albania’ aiming to discuss on how to motivate and easily apply the current legal framework on investments, and to facilitate the process of drafting a simplified legal framework which can retain and attract new investments. This subject comes also in the context of the integration processes of the country to the EU and at a regional level, with the Regional Economic Agenda (REA). A REA component is also the Regional Investment Reform Agenda (RIRA), which inter alia aims also an alignment of the legal and regulatory framework in the country with the best international practices.

For more information please visit: https://www.investment.com.al/investment-council-for-a-simplified-legal-framework-on-investments/

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EBRD and partners support key transport links in Albania

June 18, 2018
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European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Union (EU)  and its partners are stepping up their support for strategic transport links in Albania. The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) has made available up to €35.5 million in grants to complement an EBRD loan of up to €36.9 million.

A signing ceremony in Tirana was attended by Damian Gjiknuri, Minister of Infrastructure and Energy and Erjon Luci, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy on behalf of the Albanian Government, Christian Danielsson, Director General for Enlargement, DG NEAR, European Commission and Matteo Colangeli, EBRD’s head of Tirana office.

The WBIF is a joint initiative of the European Commission, international financial institutions, bilateral donors and beneficiary governments to support strategic investments in energy, environment, social and transport sectors in the region.

 

For more information please visit: https://www.ebrd.com/news/2018/ebrd-and-partners-support-key-transport-links-in-albania.html

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FIAA cooperates with Energy Charter Secretariat on the EIRA (Energy Investment Risk Assessment) Report

May 30, 2018
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The Energy Charter Secretariat based in Brussels, an intergovernmental organization administering the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT- a multilateral energy agreement comprising more than 50 countries and 40 observers), at the request of the Energy Charter Conference conducted a pilot project in 2017 which established the foundation for a flagship publication on Energy Investment Risk Assessment (EIRA). The EIRA is a distinct publication which aims at assessing specific policy, regulatory and legal risks concerning foreign and domestic investment in the energy sector of different countries. The ultimate goal is to have an annual publication with a global reach which countries can use to improve the investment climate and investors can take informed decisions on establishing an investment in the host country.

In this frame, because of FIAA’s active role in the energy sector of the country, the Secretariat believes that our participation and contribution to the EIRA project would be highly advantageous to bring attention to the challenges faced by the business and investor communities and it would contribute to reducing the investment risk in the energy sector in the country. FIAA will contribute to development of the country profile of Albania in the new EIRA publication, planned for release in autumn 2018 as peer Reviewer. Other players involved will be the relevant ministries and other public authorities involved in the energy sector of the country. Moreover, three external parties in Albania are participating and filling-in the Secretariat questionnaire, including a number of questions related to legal, regulatory and policy risks.

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FIAA members met with Ministry of Agriculture Representatives

May 15, 2018
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May 2018/ Tirana. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Albania organized a meeting with representatives of foreign businesses in Albania to introduce IPARD II – EU fund for Albanian agri-processing businesses, 2014-2020 along with other available opportunities in the agriculture.

IPARD II consists in the financing of 71 million euro fund to be used for investment in the territory of Albania. Investments may be movable or immovable and the grant scheme will be supporting only investments and costs to be implemented after the signing of the Grant Contract. Investments must comply with Minimal National Standards and EU Standards related respectively to: Environment Protection, Animal Health, Alimentary Safety and Quality etc.  Investments in the first measure will be focused in the sectors of Milk Production, Meat Production, Fruits and Vegetables Production and vineyards. Applicants may be individual farmers, physic or legal persons and agricultural joint companies, start up businesses.

 

For more information about the Program of IPARD II please visit: http://www.bujqesia.gov.al/programi-ipard-ii-2014-2020/

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Presentation of EBRD Transition Report on Albania 2018

April 30, 2018
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April, 2018/Tirana. The Bank of Albania and the EBRD launched the EBRD Transition Report 2017-2018, EBRD’s annual update on reform progress and economic developments across 37 countries from Central Europe to Central Asia and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean.

According to the Report, Albania’s economy grew in line with comparators pre-crisis, but lagged behind post-crisis until recently. The report – Supporting growth– focuses on the challenge of keeping progress with reference to the experience of average incomes economies. The report also presents the continuity of the structural reform and a new evaluation of the regional countries progress conducted by EBRD based on their transition to sustainable economies.

Priorities for Albania in 2018:

EU-oriented reforms should be stepped up. It is critical that the momentum in the EU approximation is preserved and accelerated, especially in public administration reform and rule of law.

Further business environment reforms are needed. The campaign against informality has yielded important results but extra efforts are needed to tackle deep-rooted problems such as getting electricity, registering property and enforcing contracts.

The reform momentum in the power sector should be accelerated. Further improvements in governance and operational practices of SOEs in the power sector are needed to make their financial position sustainable.

Transition Report 2017-18 in this link: EBRD TR 2017-18 .

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FIAA’s President meets with Ambassador of Japan in Albania

April 28, 2018
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On April 26th 2018, the President of FIAA Mr. Tom Kristian Larsen received in the association premises the Ambassador of Japan in Albania, H.E Mr. Makoto ITO. The purpose of the visit was the presentation of respective Institutions and their role in Albania.  During the meeting it was discussed on the present economy of Albania along with the actual business climate, with particular focus on new foreign investments, cooperation between Albania and Japan and justice reform process. Japan Programs have been a valid supporter to Albania and the newly opened Embassy is expected to have even a bigger role and impact  in the near future.The cooperation between the two countries should further expand. To this regard, H.E Mr. Ito reiterated that FIAA is a strong business organization, supporting investors and a valuable partner for all the foreign representative bodies in Albania.

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COMMUNICATION FROM THE FOREIGN INVESTORS ASSOCIATION OF ALBANIA

March 7, 2018
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Foreign Investor Association in Albania announces the outcome of the Assembly Meeting of its Members, during which three new Board members were elected representing the main foreign companies in the country such as STATKRAFT, SHELL and ANTEA Cement. The Assembly voted also for the election of  the FIAA new Chairman, Mr. Tom Kristian Larsen, who is the Chief Executive Officer of STATKRAFT in Albania.

‘FIAA is the most reputable institution representing the business community in Albania, it has a high standing among business, government institutions and foreign missions and is working effortlessly in its mission to improve business climate in the country. Statkraft is a leader in business conduct, anti-corruption policies and integrity values and has practical, hands-on experience in its implementation. Having the honour of being elected as the President of FIAA for the next mandate, I will work towards spreading the message of integrity and proper business conduct in FIAA, among its members and the broader business community. Albania has a great potential to attract foreign investments, but it has to fight corruption and strengthen its reputation and quality of its institutions to make it happen. I look forward to represent FIAA on this journey’. – stated Tom Kristian Larsen.

Foreign Investors Association in Albania with a presence of 18 years, has been and continues to be an important partner in the development and economic integration of the country. The Association has consolidated a sustainable co-operation with local and international authorities in the country, positioning itself part of the various consulting structures focusing on the business climate in the country and absorbing new investments.

Statkraft is a state-owned Norwegian company and is present in Albania since 2008 with its investment, Devoll Hydropower, which represents one of the country’s largest foreign investment in the renewable energy industry.Mr. Larsen is a professional with international experience in Europe and Asia, in important sectors such as telecommunications and renewable energy in global companies such as Telenor, Statoil and Statkraft.

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FIAA holds the Annual Assembly Meeting

March 7, 2018
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In March 6th, FIAA held the Annual Assembly Meeting of the Members and conducted election process for three new Board Members including the Appointment of the Chairman of FIAA for the next two years to come.

In his opening speech, the outgoing President of FIAA, Mr. Silvio Pedrazzi highlighted some of the main achievements and challenges he had during his Chairmanship of three years within FIAA and emphasized the importance of the Organization as the best Instrument for the Foreign Investors in Albania. Mr. Pedrazzi did also thank the FIAA members for the support and trust given to him, expressing his will to further continue his mission on representing FIAA as Member of the Board of Directors.

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FIAA cooperates with the World Bank Group

March 2, 2018
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The World Bank Group (WBG) is supporting the Berlin Process and the Trieste Declaration of the WB6 and the EU in the establishment of a regional mechanism to coordinate policies with the goal of increasing investment flows as well as firm level investment leads and commitments within the six Western Balkan economies (WB6) (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro, Serbia). The six economies have undertaken to identify and eliminate the main obstacles derived from regulations, measures or governmental actions that prevent or hinder the expansion of foreign direct investment within the region.

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